BeagleBone Network Multitool

Lightweight, X11-free, networking-centric, IPv6-ready, buildroot-based server distribution targeting the BeagleBone platform

Posted by Angel on 2014-08-17T18:00:15-04:00

From the homepage:

The BeagleBone Network Multitool (beaglenmt) is a lightweight, X11-free, networking-centric, IPv6-ready, buildroot-based server distribution targeting the BeagleBone platform. beaglenmt supports both BeagleBone Black and BeagleBone White hardware platforms.

Thanks to buildroot, beaglenmt is mostly a matter of package selection. beaglenmt includes an assortment of networking tools so that beaglenmt can be used as a secure proxy and for various networking experiments. Some of the more important packages include:

  • Networking Management: iproute2, iptables, ebtables, brctl, tunctl, wvdial
  • Networking Diagnostics: mtr, tcpdump / libpcap, wireshark, nmap, whois, arp, iftop, bmon, iperf, ngrep, ethtool, ndisc6, rdisc6, ping6, traceroute6
  • Networking Applications: curl, links, socat, netcat, ntp, rsync, sshfs / libfuse
  • Security / Tunneling: openssh, openvpn, openssl, gnupg, stunnel
  • Scripting: python2, lua5.2
  • Filesytem: ext2/3/4, fat and ntfs support
  • Misc: git, tmux, screen, pv, htop, powertop, pstree, iostat, netstat, memstat
  • Many standard Unix utilities provided by Busybox

The resulting system is 275MB in size, and boots in about 4 seconds after the bootloader. Download the pre-built distribution below, or follow the instructions to build it yourself.

I realize that there are many other cool Linux networking tools (suggestions are welcome!) besides the basics beaglenmt that includes, but the tools selected for now are the ones conveniently available in buildroot. Submitting new packages to buildroot or cross-compiling them by hand are also options.

My instantiation of beaglenmt is running at, where I am hosting a small cherrypy-based diagnostics web server that reports statistics on a zenburn-themed page, and SSH for a secure proxy, port redirection, or other uses (see SSH tricks for examples). It is accessible via both IPv4 and IPv6. Its IPv6 connection is tunneled through a 6in4 Hurricane Electric tunnel.

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